Some of the biggest names in sports are teaming up for charity.
The Match: Champions for Charity will feature Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Colts legend Peyton Manning. All donations and fundraising from the event will go to COVID-19 relief.
Woods and Mickelson faced off in the first edition of The Match back in November 2018. Mickelson took home the win in that Black Friday bout after 22 holes.
This time around, Manning and Brady are the newcomers.
The first matchup between Woods and Mickelson was a pay-per-view event between TNT and Bleacher Report. However, technical problems caused by high demand forced the duo to stream the event for free and issue refunds to customers.
TNT is airing round two on its network, skipping the pay-per-view route altogether. The match will take place sometime in May.
Betting on The Match: Champions for Charity
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) would need to approve any type of betting on the event for Indiana gamblers. Since that approval process hasn’t started yet, you can’t bet on the match yet in Indiana.
However, according to Sara Gonso Tait, the executive director of the IGC, that could be changing soon.
She says that none of Indiana’s sportsbooks have put in a formal request yet to have the event approved for betting. Once that request comes through, it will get the ball rolling for the IGC to either approve or deny betting on the match.
The Hoosier State has been pretty open to betting on events like this in the past. Especially considering the lack of options at sportsbooks right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the IGC approve betting on the match.
In terms of odds, right now FanDuel in Pennsylvania gives us the best look. The sportsbook has team Woods/Manning at -220 to win while Mickelson/Brady are the +175 underdogs.
If the event gets approval in Indiana, Hoosiers will likely be seeing pretty similar odds to those. Different sportsbooks might end up with slightly different odds, but Pennsylvania at least gives us a look at how FanDuel is approaching the event.
The golf event has been a few months in the making
Apparently, this has been in the works for a while now.
A match between the four sports figures was already being planned but ended up getting shelved among the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, things are off pause with the focus shifting from entertainment to charity.
There isn’t an official date for the event, although Manning and company may end up hitting the course on Memorial Day weekend.
Manning spoke with Denver’s 104.3 The Fan about his decision to hop in on the match.
“There was talk about doing it all along anyway. And now, to have a chance to have a major fundraising event for COVID-19 relief, almost like a telethon, if you will. If that can take place, I’m all in for that.”
In terms of teams for the match, it’s looking like Woods and Manning will be teaming up against Mickelson and Brady.
The health crisis forced the golf world to come together to reschedule the sport’s major events. With everything delayed, golf fans now at least have some action to look forward to while they wait for the rescheduled tournaments.
A few hurdles to clear before the match can happen
The PGA Tour still needs to give the event the green light before it can take place. That’s because the organization has to approve any televised events that involve its players.
Right now, the PGA Tour is holding off until its sure that the event can take place safely.
Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief tournament and competitions officer, says that the key to running future golf events safely will be efficient testing.
“We obviously are aware that the FDA recently approved use of a saliva-based test. It gives us confidence that we will be able to develop a strong testing protocol that will mitigate risk as much as we possibly can. We know that there will also be further developments over the next eight weeks before we were to resume play.”
Another obstacle in the way is finding a safe location for the event. The state of Florida could very well end up being the key to making that happen.
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently declared professional sports as essential businesses, which will allow them to operate in the state without closures.
Since most states have gone the opposite route, Florida would the natural location to host the match.
Things aren’t set in stone yet, but golf fans at least have something to look forward to while the details get ironed out.